More safety concerns are being raised about Monday’s solar eclipse. In Wisconsin about 80 percent of the sun will be covered, but that can still do damage if you attempt to look at for too long.
“It basically has the same effect as looking at the sun when it’s not an eclipse,” said Nick Keszo, an optometrist at the Menominee Tribal Clinic. “You’re still getting much of the ultra violet rays coming into your eye and the back part of your eye, the retna, unfortunately cannot handle those rays. You can do severe damage. You can almost give yourself a macular degeneration type of condition from these strong rays that are coming through.”
Keszo adds that it doesn’t take too long of exposure to do long-term damage.
“Twenty, 30 seconds of looking at it without proper protection could do permanent damage.”
Experts say you’ll need special glasses to watch the event, but even then Keszo says it might not be a bad idea to use caution.
“I’m going to look at the sun for 10 or 15 seconds, then I’m going to take a break, just in case,” he said. “I’m not completely trusting my vision to these $2 pair of glasses that I bought. I haven’t read anything that said if they are the right glasses that you cannot look at it for an extended period of time, however, I won’t be doing that.”
Concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of glasses statewide.
UW Milwaukee says about 500 pairs distributed on campus are not safe, after false safety certificates came with the glasses. They say other glasses handed out at the campus planetarium are okay, as they have a NASA logo and required certifications.
Recently, Amazon warned the Shawano-City Library about the use of glasses they purchased after it was discovered they didn’t have a certified manufacturer.
About 80-percent of the sun will be covered by the moon in Wisconsin during Monday’s brief eclipse.
It’s expected to begin in Shawano at 11:52 a.m, with its maximum effect taking place at 1:15 in the afternoon. The total duration of the eclipse will be about 2 hours and 44 minutes.
Meanwhile, the state D.O.T. is reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road and not to try and look at the eclipse or record it on a smartphone while behind the wheel.